In Wangige Market, Martin Ngotho reaches for his phone every time someone uses his hand washing station. Keen to record every interaction, Martin and thousands of other attendants in 30 different counties relay user and usage info to MapWASH a company using digital tools to allow for seamless measuring, mapping and monitoring of hand washing stations, bore holes and public toilets. Designed for use on mobile devices, with Internet of Things (IoT) and via remote sensing, MapWASH technology is currently deployed in 1935 locations spread over 30 counties. With this extensive reach, they have been able to track over 18.6 million hand washes over a 6 month period.
It is this reach and ability to collect detailed data including age, gender, frequency, usage time among others that the MapWASH technology was recognized as the best intervention during the 2020 Global Hand Washing Day Celebrations. According to Managing Partner Denis Sigei, “We have been able to track user and beneficiaries being served and relaying the information collected real time and thus we are able to know how much water, is used, when, where, by who and at what time.”
Coupled with tracking hand washing stations, MapWASH is also conducting research on various communities and their practices, separately on people with disabilities and their access to WASH services and finally with Rotary and Unicef on preparedness and gaps in regards to WASH facilities in schools ahead of the proposed reopening of schools.
Its ease of use and availability in different forms including the MapWASH app delighted the judges who saw fit to award the technology top accolades during this year’s GHWD celebration. Usable on a smart phone and via SMS, the interventions that are currently on all Rotary deployed hand washing stations have relayed invaluable feedback that has informed critical decisions as regards deployment and distribution of interventions.
Given that it also uses mobile, relaying information is relatively cheap, fast and interactive as when there are questions the people on the ground can be engaged.
Thanking the judges for the award, Sigei noted information is an important ingredient in winning the war against Covid -19. Knowing where, understanding localized behaviors’, frequency and demand among others presents invaluable insights to those making decisions on what needs to be done. He further commended those making strides on improving access and designs of hand washing stations noting the diversified interventions need to evolve and complement each other that results may be realized faster and more efficiently www.mapwash.org